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Archives for June, 2015

A-typical

The Other Depression

Depression is a major part of bipolar disorder. We spend three times the amount of time in depressive phases than manic phases, so it’s important to be able to recognize symptoms of depression and be able to treat them effectively. Because so much time is spent in a depressive state versus a manic state, almost 70% of bipolar patients are misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder or unipolar depression in...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

The Importance of “How are You?”

First off, I need to say that I hate this question. It’s flippant and impersonal. Why do we greet each other with a seemingly intimate question when we could not care less what the real answer is and find it irritating if someone answers truthfully? Anything more than “Fine, you?” and you’re wasting someone’s time. It’s shallow and I hate it. Okay, soapbox over.

All that said, it is vital that...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

My cat did not give me bipolar disorder.

Cats and humans, most especially women, have had a somewhat tumultuous relationship throughout history. In ancient Egypt cats were worshiped. Then as time went on they were good luck. I’d consider that a bit of a demotion, but it’s better than what came next. In 1232, Pope Gregory IX began the association of cats with the devil. So, naturally, single women with cats were deemed witches....
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Anxiety

Antidepressants & Bipolar Disorder

The use of antidepressants in bipolar disorder is a fairly hot topic. It’s also complicated. Let me start out by saying that I am a patient, not a doctor. I’m just reporting what I research and I get to research what is highly relevant to my life and I talk about it with my own doctor. The fact is, I am like half of bipolar patients in that my initial...
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Bipolar Symptoms

Working with Bipolar Disorder

A friend of mine recently asked me if there is a relationship between bipolar disorder keeping a job. It tickled a spot in my brain, but I said I’d have to do some research and get back to her. I found there are a number of statistics on employment and bipolar disorder. Unsurprisingly, a good portion of the research focuses more on the employers than on the employees. Those of us with...
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Coping with Bipolar

Bipolar and the Art of Communication

My husband has suggested I write a book. This book would not be the Great American Novel, nor would it be a how-to guide on medicine cabinet organization. He wants me to write a book on the numerous interpretations of the phrase “I’m okay.” Why? Because that’s usually my answer when asked how I’m doing and he is correct that there is no way I feel the same every time...
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Bipolar Treatment

Pets and Your Mental Health

As I sit here, my dog is lying next to me chasing squirrels in his dreams. He’s my buddy and part of my family. Seeing his short face when I walk in the door after a hard day always makes me feel better and he gives really good hugs. I’ve heard for years that having pets are good for your health- lower blood pressure, better heart health, etc., but I’ve never...
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Anxiety

Are you highly-sensitive?

When my therapist handed me a copy of “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron, I thought I had found myself stuck between a “What 80’s McDonald’s Toy are You?” quiz and self-help bookstore hell. Really? I’m “sensitive”? Isn’t that normally the nice way of saying “weak”? This was coming from my therapist. Needless to say, I was incredibly skeptical.

Then I actually read the book.

There really is such a thing as
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Anxiety

Feeling Bipolar Disorder In Your Gut

Despite the way we’re taught in school, the body doesn’t think of itself as divided up into systems. It doesn’t realize it has a nervous system and an endocrine system, a respiratory system and a digestive system. There is really only one system that has to work together to keep you alive. So it’s unsurprising that psychological illness can be related to, or co-morbid with physical disorders that might not...
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